The Danish agent, the Croatian blonde and the CIA plot to get al-Awlaki
The story would not be out of place on the TV thriller "Homeland": the Danish petty criminal turned double agent who receives $250,000 in cash for helping the CIA try to ensnare one of al Qaeda's most wanted -- by finding him a wife.
The wanted man was American-born al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who had become one of the most effective propagandists for the group. The bride-to-be was a pretty blonde from Croatia. The agent was Morten Storm, who had long moved in radical Islamist circles and had apparently won the trust of al-Awlaki during a stay in Yemen in 2006.
But unknown to his militant "brothers," Storm had contacted Danish intelligence late in 2006 and offered his services. They had brought in the CIA. And when al-Awlaki fled the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, for a remote desert hide-out, Storm became one of the contacts the agency tried to use to pinpoint al-Awlaki and take him out of circulation.
According to Storm's account, in a series of lengthy interviews with the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, one of his many meetings with al-Awlaki took place at a desert camp in Shabwa province in September 2009.
"He asked if I knew a woman from the West he could marry. I think that he lacked someone who could better understand his Western mind-set," Storm told Jyllands Posten.
Al-Awlaki, according to Storm, already had two Arab wives, but they lived in Sanaa. He wanted a white Muslim convert who could be his "companion in hiding" in remote tribal areas. (continue reading...)